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Thread: COAI slaps RTI notice on DoT

  1. #1

    COAI slaps RTI notice on DoT


    The department of telecom (DoT), which is fighting GSM operators in the telecom tribunal TDSAT over the new telecom policy, has been slapped with a Right to Information (RTI) notice. A counsel representing Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) has sought information on issues pertaining to use of dual technology with a single licence and spectrum allocation.

    Manjul Bajpai, the standing counsel of GSM industry body COAI, has also sought information on DoT and Telecom Commission's processing of Trai's recommendations on review of licence terms and conditions, and capping number of access providers. The government had last week approved use of dual technology by a single operator under the same licence and enhanced subscriber base for allocation of additional spectrum. The new norms were challenged by COAI in the telecom tribunal TDSAT on October 23.

    As per the RTI application, the law firm has sought answers to 17 queries, including how the DoT permitted use of dual technology under the same license, details on Reliance Communications (RCOM) being granted ‘in principal’ approval to offer GSM services and also information on the license fee paid by RCOM for the same.

    The application also seeks that the government specify the total availability of spectrum (both GSM and CDMA), operator-wise allotment of radio frequencies, pending requests for additional and initial allotment as per the earlier policy.

    With regard to the contentious issue of the spectrum allocation criteria, the RTI application has sought that the DoT specify the basis on which the earlier guidelines dated March 2006 were issued. It has also sought details on the how the Telecom Engineering Centre (TEC) committee that is looking into Trai’s recommendations on spectrum allocation criteria was set up, information, records and correspondences of this committee on spectrum allocation.

    The TEC is slated to submit its report on October 30. Earlier this week, GSM operators won some won some temporary relief after the Centre assured that telecom tribunal that the no spectrum would be allocated to any player under the new telecom policy until November 12, the next date for hearing. The tribunal was hearing a petition filed by the COAI.

    NEW DELHI
    27 Oct, 2007, TIMES NEWS NETWORK & AGENCIES
    economictimes



  2. #2

    COAI uses RTI for details


    NEW DELHI: COAI has used the Right to Information Act to make the DoT disclose information relating to spectrum.

    The move is likely to put pressure on DoT to place all documents, including the critical report of the Technical Engineering Centre (TEC) on efficiency of spectrum use by GSM operators, under public scrutiny. Unlike Trai, DoT is under no legal obligation to be transparent. However, COAI's demand changes this by forcing them to comply.

    Unless government still claims privilege, this will put the entire process and documentation of Trai, DoT and TEC under public and legal scrutiny. The revelations, when made are sure to impact COAI's legal battle with DoT on its October 19 decision and on spectrum allocation in particular. In the first hearing of the case in TDSAT on 24 October, solicitor general G Vahnavati was asked to go beyond his brief as DoT's defence lawyer to offer a neutral view of the case.

    While this burden by itself seems enormous, this move will force him to be cautious in providing a neutral opinion. Apart from other information, the RTI filing asks for access to all requests by CDMA licensees for cross technology allotment and/or for allocation of spectrum to use GSM technology, including requests by Rel-Comm and related actions by DoT and WPC.

    It wants all information regarding in principle approval(s) granted to CDMA licensees to use GSM technology; deposit of payments by them and request(s) by Reliance for allocation of GSM spectrum on and/or after October 18.
    NEW DELHI: COAI has used the Right to Information Act to make the DoT disclose information relating to spectrum.

    The move is likely to put pressure on DoT to place all documents, including the critical report of the Technical Engineering Centre (TEC) on efficiency of spectrum use by GSM operators, under public scrutiny. Unlike Trai, DoT is under no legal obligation to be transparent. However, COAI's demand changes this by forcing them to comply.

    Unless government still claims privilege, this will put the entire process and documentation of Trai, DoT and TEC under public and legal scrutiny. The revelations, when made are sure to impact COAI's legal battle with DoT on its October 19 decision and on spectrum allocation in particular. In the first hearing of the case in TDSAT on 24 October, solicitor general G Vahnavati was asked to go beyond his brief as DoT's defence lawyer to offer a neutral view of the case.

    While this burden by itself seems enormous, this move will force him to be cautious in providing a neutral opinion. Apart from other information, the RTI filing asks for access to all requests by CDMA licensees for cross technology allotment and/or for allocation of spectrum to use GSM technology, including requests by Rel-Comm and related actions by DoT and WPC.

    It wants all information regarding in principle approval(s) granted to CDMA licensees to use GSM technology; deposit of payments by them and request(s) by Reliance for allocation of GSM spectrum on and/or after October 18.
    https://https://timesofindia.indiatime...ow/2493796.cms
    Last edited by sngupta; 29-10-07 at 07:59 AM.

  3. #3

    COAI seeks more govt documents


    Giving a stronger indication of its distrust of the government's motives, the COAI went ahead and filed for additional documents through the Right to Information (RTI) Act on Friday. This is its second filing under RTI within a week.

    The move comes amidst tough negotiations designed to move towards a compromise between COAI and the DoT, embroiled in bitter litigation over the controversial crossover spectrum policy of October 19.
    GSM players have been crying foul over the Technical Engineering Centres (TEC) new subscriber-linked criteria of October 31, which the DoT was quick to accept and wants to expose more documents related to the TEC decision. Confirming this move, TV Ramachandran of COAI said, "We have widened the scope of the RTI to cover all aspects of the governments decision."

    The government has been putting a squeeze on GSM players by placing valuable spectrum further and further out of their reach. Industry analysts say COAI's reverse pressure tactic could work as an effective negotiation tool.

    Meanwhile, the DoT continues to grapple with the demands of 46 firms clamoring for LoIs for their 575 licence/spectrum applications. This decision is also imminent over this week.

    NEW DELHI, 5 Nov 2007, Shalini Singh,TNN

  4. #4

    Re: COAI slaps RTI notice on DoT



    This is good brought up of RTI.



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